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Can Mommies Have It All? Yes, Just Don’t Expect It To Go As Planned

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Jessica SmithBefore having kids, I completely believed my mommy friends when they told me how tired and busy they were, but I couldn’t understand it.

I know more than a few women who are about to step into the Mommy world for the first time and I have been trying to help them understand how it is about to be oh so different.

As an actress, your life is last minute. You find out you have an audition tomorrow. You must learn the sides, find your outfit. If you have a job, you call in. Then you maximize your time until the audition with preparation.

When you have children, nothing goes as planned.

To explain, I would like to share with you an actual account of a recent day for me.

Sometime after midnight: The kids were in bed by 9 p.m., leaving me a few hours to cram in some house work and audition prep before crawling into bed later than I should.

4:44 a.m.

Two year old wakes up crying; I make her go pee and then go back to bed

5:52 a.m.

My alarm goes off

6:17 a.m. 

Two year old wakes up crying; I finally get up for breakfast and quiet time

6:55 a.m. 

I go in the basement to work out. Luckily, my husband is in town and can help with the girls’ breakfast

7:30 a.m.

I take over. The 2 year old wants to watch “Elsa on ‘puter.” I make lunches for husband and the 5 year old and pack her school bag.

7:45 a.m. 

5 year old comes downstairs; Both girls now need to lay in my lap

8:15 a.m.

2 year old wants to play PlayDoh, so I set her up at the kitchen table and try to steal away to take a shower

8:20 a.m.  

The 2 year old comes in to poopy and then wants to change her clothes and dress herself; I have to help.

8:30 a.m. 

5 year old comes upstairs with us to get ready. We have a tiff over wearing warm clothes and making up her bed. I win.

8:40 a.m.   

I brush their hair and the teeth of the two year old.

8:42 a.m. 

I go to warm up the car

8:55 a.m.

We get bundled up and take the 5 year old to school. Normally I would also get the 2 year old ready for her dance class on a Friday, but it was canceled

9 a.m.  

Drop the 5 year old off at school (thank goodness we live one mile away)

9:05 a.m. 

We are back at home. Two friends need me on Facebook, but I can’t give them much attention, again

as usual.

9:15 a.m. 

The 2 year old plays with PlayDoh while I finally get to take that shower. She comes in to pee and successfully does it all by herself, giving me false hope because she comes back a few minutes later having pooped in her pants. I get out of the shower and go to help, finding six poopy balls in the floor. They had fallen out of her panties. “Mommy, you have to clean that up.”

9:45ish  

We go upstairs so I can get dressed. The 2 year old wants to brush her teeth again, which means she is simply playing in water. She then wants to change her wet shirt. Then I have to also help her change her pants and convince her that the socks in her hand are clean and she needs to put them on.

9:55 a.m.

I go downstairs for a snack. The 2 year old really wants the bug book and the monkey book. We can’t find the monkey book. She rips out a page in the bug book.

10:05 a.m.

I go to dry my hair. It’s a rarity I get to do this.

10:15 a.m. 

What’s this with the 2 year old? She’s gotten into my nail polish.

10:30 a.m. 

I do a quick curl of my hair.

10:45 a.m. 

The sitter hasn’t shown up. This is totally unlike her. There is no time to find anyone else. I have to find panties, pants, and snacks for the trip. We leave. And it’s raining. The 2 year old insists I must find her Minnie Mouse umbrella.

Notice I have not yet done my makeup or any sort of rehearsal at all.

11:50 a.m. 

Luckily, this casting director is super cool and understanding. The 2 year old refuses to stay in the waiting room. The casting director says she can sit on the couch in the room. Thank goodness I have quiet daughters.

12:15 p.m. 

The second we get in the car I hear, “Mommy, I have to pee.” I also remember that we need gas.

12:20 p.m. 

We make it to the gas station. I get the pump in the car and the 2 year old to the potty.

12:30 p.m. 

I hope we make it to the preschool by 1 p.m.

1 p.m. 

Just in time!

It’s now only 1 p.m. and I have had a very full day, with very little to show for it. That is normal. I now have about five hours of mommy duty before Daddy gets home, we have supper, put them to bed, and then crawl into bed later than we should.

I don’t share this for any special treatment or to offer excuses. I only hope that by sharing this typical timeline, at least one of two things will happen:

  1. Others in my situation will see they are not alone. It isn’t easy, but you can do it.
  2. Others who are about to enter this phase of life will walk in with open eyes. Listen, we totally sign up for this. My two little girls are worth way more than any acting job or even the necessary hours to work on my career. Just know it will be tough, but it will be worth it.

 

Jessica Leigh Smith

About Jessica Leigh Smith

Jessica Leigh Smith can currently be seen running around town in her yoga pants, toting her two little girls everywhere she goes. Being a mommy has played into Jessica’s latest projects, Mommy Parodies. The first is a parody of a song from the movie Frozen, which has reached almost 40,000 views (and climbing) on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86FY-AEdizA. Jessica’s most notable acting roles are co-starring roles on One Tree Hill and Drop Dead Diva. Coincidentally, Jessica was toting her daughters in those roles as well, since she was pregnant both times. In addition to acting, Jessica has co-produced an educational series for actors, called The Dinner Project, putting actors and casting directors face to face. Episodes can be found at http://thedinnerprojectshow.com/. For more about Jessica, the actress, please visit her website, http://www.jessicaleighsmith.com/, and follow her on Twitter, @JessiLeighSmith.